13 November 2008

Neem is a medium sized to large tree characterized by its short straight trunk, furrowed dark brown to gray bark, and dense rounded crowns of pinnate leaves. Native to India, Neem is widely planted and naturalized in semiarid areas throughout Asia and Africa. Neem is an evergreen of the tropics and sub-tropics.

With an extensive and deep root system, the hardy Neem can grow luxuriantly even in marginal and leached soils, and thrives up to an elevation of 1500m. The Neem flowers are prolific between February and May. The honey-scented white flowers, found in clusters, are a good source of nectar for bees. Neem fruits are green drupes that turn golden yellow on ripening in the months of June, July and August, in India. The kernels have about 45% oil. The termite resistant Neem timber is used as a building material, and in making furniture and farm implements. The bark yields tannin and gum. The amber hued gum is used as a dye in textiles and in traditional medicines.

The oils and dry extracts from the plant have been used in Ayurverdic medicines for thousands of years, and have been revered in India for their medicinal and healing properties, especially on chronic skin disorders. With excellent moisturizing qualities, it is becoming increasingly popular in many body and hair care and pet products. Neem oil contains compounds that have both insecticidal, antiseptic and medicinal properties. Considered to be safe in all normal topical applications. The Neem tree originates in India and is now being grown successfully in Northern.

Plant Part
Seeds

Aroma
Neem carrier oil has a pungent, earthy, green musty smell. Strong (not terribly pleasant) odor

Contains
High in Vitamin E
fFtty acids
Glycerides

Viscosity
Thick and can solidify at low temperatures. If that happens, place container of oil in warm (not hot) water and heat gently. It will take a few minutes

Color
It is a dark, rather sludgy(Brown)

Extraction Method
Cold Pressing of the seeds

Doses
Up to 10% in skin care formulations
Up to 3% in hand and foot care products
1 - 2% as an insect repellant

Uses and Health Benefits :
  • High in Vitamin E and fatty acids, Neem oil is useful for treating a variety of skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, burnsm rashes and dry skin
  • In addition, Neem has a long history of use as an insect repellent and is increasingly being used to control plant pests and diseases
  • Effective against mosquitos, flies, sand fleas, ticks and more. As a garden spray, Neem (which is very bitter in taste) makes the leaves sprayed with it distasteful for the bugs to eat, thus acting as a natural repellent
  • Neem seed oil is non-toxic to mammals and may be very effective antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, dermatological and dental agent
  • It is rich in fatty acids and glycerides and together with its healing properties, provides an excellent natural moisturizing base for skin care formulations

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